CAPE TOWN - If the Cape Cobras continue the batting resurgence and find a solution to the lack of firepower with the ball, they could return to the winning ways when Sunfoil Series action resumes at Newlands on Monday against the Warriors.
Although the inability to capture wickets remains a concern, the coach, Ashwell Prince, pointed to the conveniently forgotten truth that the Cape Cobras used two bowlers who had only featured in one franchise match between them before the start of the weekend’s clash against the Knights.
The Cobras’ match against the defending champions at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn finished in a draw on Monday, after a wet outfield ruled out play on the fourth day. The Knights were set to resume on 3 without loss after the Cape Cobras had amassed 447 in the first innings, a slender deficit of 42 runs.
The Cobras strung together two 100-run partnerships and a 79-run stand between Simon Khomari and Kyle Verreynne and remained unnerved about the 489/5 declared hammered by the visitors.
Justin Ontong scored 64. He has now assembled 251 runs in three matches at an average of 50.20, while Aviwe Mgijima struck 63 in his partnership of 109 with Ontong.
“We struck three sixties and two of those three should have been converted into centuries. If it was 600, we might have had a lead of 120 and the pressure would have been on the Knights,” Prince said.
Dane Piedt, the skipper, contributed 62 and featured in a 105-run stand with Verreynne before the skipper punched a long-hop straight down mid-off’s throat.
Piedt said the bowling is a glaring problem and it was discussed at length at a team meeting.
“We are continuously allowing opposing teams to get off to a good start. It is not only about unresponsive pitches. It is also about our game awareness which is lacking,” he added.
Prince said one has to be aware of the age and the experience of the attack. It is a young group of bowlers. The left-arm swing bowler Michael Cohen played in his maiden match and bowled with pace while offering much variety to the skipper. The exciting spinner Kyle Simmonds was playing in only his second franchise match, he added.
Prince was impressed with Cohen’s ability with the ball, saying that the 19-year-old bowler could operate from around the wicket, swing it away, or utilize revere-swing to trouble batsmen.
Meanwhile, Proteas Test all-rounder Vernon Philander is on the road to recovery from a back injury, while Rory Kleinveldt is sidelined with an abdominal strain.
The Cobras earned 5.08 batting bonus points and one bowling bonus point against the Knights in Oudtshoorn, while the visitors collected 5.7 for batting and two for bowling.